You Can Definitely Benefit Your Photography With Instagram – Here's What To Consider
Before we even start, I realize manyphotographers feel a straight-up dislike towards Instagram, and I must admit I was one of them. Ok, so let's begin by dropping the misconceptions about what Instagram is and more importantly, what it can do! I too came to realize that the “don’t judge a book by its cover” adage also applies to Instagram. So really, it's very cool – not just for young photographers…it's for everyone! Yup, you too.
Photography With Instagram
Yes, it is a form of social network (that has been somewhat) abused by teenagers who seem a little obsessed about photographing everything they eat (and themselves of course) – however, nobody is forcing you to follow them, right? Since it's an asymmetric network (doesn’t require “friendship” as Facebook does) you can tailor it to your needs. As everybody is doing right now. On the other hand, since everything is squared, you are forced to use a square frame of the picture (yes, you can do portrait and landscape now as well, but that’s not the point). This is not necessarily a bad thing because it forces you to think more about framing the shot (or, when you actually crop your DSLR picture, but hey, nobody’s judging). When using Instagram (i.e. from a smartphone, rather than uploading your images from another camera) think of it as another prime lens – you gotta move your feet!
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The Image Quality
Since the size of the photos nowadays is 1024 pixels on the longer edge, you can’t expect pictures which you would be able to view in pristine quality on a 4K tablet. For normal sized displays, this resolution seems sufficient, at least so far. On the photographing side, since we are talking about photographers right now, I’d advise you to use your DSLR for the Instagram photos, and make sure that they are of top quality (in terms of composition, light, post process etc.)
Even though Instagram (perhaps) makes you think of dirtyvintage & grunge effects which look awful, you can post process your images in any way that suits your style and needs.
The important to consider consistency in post processing. What I mean is, you need to represent your style right away and not deviate from it.
Some Added Benefits Of Instagram: Trends, Features, and Tags
You need to put your work out there, that's a fact for most photographers, I'm right hey? However, Instagram houses over 500 million active users monthly, and over80 million photos are being uploaded on the service per day. Your job is to stand out in that crowd of active users (bear in mind that ‘active users’ are people that use Instagram on an almost daily basis – the number of total accounts is quite higher). Even if you are the best photographer in the world (I personally don’t like quantifications like that) you need to be able to make your work visible. This can be done through synergy between three things:
Following trends, and
Tagging your photos properly means that when people search for a certain thing they wanna see (let’s say nature, the tag would be #nature) your photo will be among those tagged accordingly, sorted by chronological order. A pretty simple concept. This effect is amplified by following trends (or “trending tags” if you will) since those will be searched more often than other tags.